Cranberry Cookies made with nuts and fresh cranberries are so amazingly delicious. They are the perfect combination of sweet, tart, crunchy, and tender!
Tuck these babies into a Dessert Charcuterie Board or include them in your trays of Christmas Cookies. They are the perfect cookie for Christmas — or whenever you have a stash of frozen cranberries on hand.
Years ago I rediscovered the Cranberry books by the Devlins. Cranberry Thanksgiving and Cranberry Christmas were my favorites. I remembered baking bread with my granny after reading the Thanksgiving book, so as a young mom, I baked Cranberry Cookies with my daughter after reading the Christmas book.
This Cranberry Cookies recipe is adapted from that vintage cookie recipe, with some tweaks to make them easier and tastier. They are one of our family’s very favorite holiday treats!
Why Do This
Cranberry Cookies are delicious! Since they boast fresh instead of dried cranberries, these treats are bursting with flavor, not too juicy, but enough to make you come back for more.
They are easy to make ahead. Definitely bake up a few extra batches of Cranberry Cookies because this cookies recipe freezes beautifully.
They are versatile. While we love them straightforward with pecans and cranberries, you can add in other goodies, such as orange zest or chocolate chips.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Cranberry Cookies:
flour – I like to use unbleached, all-purpose flour, but you can use bleached as well. Whole wheat pastry flour will also work.
leavenings – You’ll need baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Don’t omit these. Remember you can make baking powder if you need a substitution.
butter – I use dairy butter, but you can also use margarine or another plant-based butter. It will need to be softened, so be sure to leave it at room temperature for awhile before you start baking.
sugar – You’ll need both granulated sugar and brown sugar. You can use dark or light brown sugar. If you don’t have any, use white sugar and then add a tablespoon of molasses.
egg – The egg is needed to give the cookies lift. You can also use flaxseed meal egg replacement, but the texture will be slightly different.
milk – I use dairy milk, but you can also use a favorite plant milk if you prefer.
lemon juice – This adds needed acid to react with the baking soda. If you don’t have lemon juice, you can use lime juice, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
fresh cranberries – These will need to be chopped. I use a food processor, but you can coarsely chop them by hand with a knife as well. Stock up when you see them on sale in November and December and stash them away in the freezer for your favorite Cranberry recipes.
chopped nuts – We’ve used pecans and almonds. Use what you have.
For cranberry orange cookies, add the zest of 1 orange and use orange juice instead of lemon.
For chocolate cranberry cookies, swap out the nuts for chocolate chips.
Here’s how to make Cranberry Cookies:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
In another mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with a hand mixer or a Kitchenaid. Beat in the egg, milk, and lemon juice.
Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. This will be a stiff dough. Add in the cranberries and nuts and mix well.
Drop the cookie dough by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
Cooled cookies can be frozen in airtight containers for up to 2 months.
TLDR? Watch the Cranberry Cookies web story.
You can make the swap, however you will want to chop the cranberries coarsely and dial back a little of the liquid in your cookie recipe. Dried cranberries absorb liquid while fresh ones give off liquid.
It sounds odd since cranberries are so big and juicy when cooked, but this cranberry cookie recipe is one of my favorite cookies ever!
Add the zest of an orange and substitute the lemon juice with orange juice in this recipe.
Best Cookie Recipes
- 3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 cup fresh cranberries coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chopped nuts toasted
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- In another mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with a hand mixer or a Kitchenaid. Beat in the egg, milk, and lemon juice. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. This will be a stiff dough. Add in the cranberries and almonds and mix well.½ cup butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, ¼ cup milk, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 cup fresh cranberries, 1 cup chopped nuts
- Drop dough by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 13 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
- Cooled cookies can be frozen in airtight containers for up to 2 months.
- For cranberry orange cookies, add the zest of 1 orange and use orange juice instead of lemon.
- For chocolate cranberry cookies, swap out the nuts for chocolate chips.
This post was originally published on December 6, 2015. It has been updated for content and clarity.